Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®)

the peak international, technical portfolio construction certification program


Are you involved in any aspect of constructing multi-manager portfolios? If so, CIMA certification offers an unrivalled opportunity to formally equip yourself with the knowledge, skill and expertise to build better quality investment portfolios – and be recognised for it.

CIMA certification is the peak, international technical portfolio construction certification program designed for investment management analysts - practitioners and advocates - involved in any aspect of constructing multi-manager portfolios. There are already more than 7,250 CIMA certificants globally.

Stand for more - more knowledge, skill and expertise - with CIMA certification.

Graham Rich, Managing Partner & Dean

A quick introduction

In Australia and New Zealand, CIMA certification and continuing education is managed and delivered by Portfolio Construction Forum, the specialist, independent investment continuing education and certification service.

The CIMA certification mark is owned by the Investments and Wealth InstituteTM, the Denver USA-based international professional association, advanced education provider, and certification board for financial advisers, investment consultants, and wealth managers.

CIMA certificants in Australia and NZ are members of IMCA australia, an affiliate of the Institute. Portfolio Construction Forum is IMCA australia's strategic partner in the management and delivery of CIMA certification and member continuing education services.

Why become a CIMA certificant? (1.50 min)
Graham Rich, Managing Partner & Dean, Portfolio Construction Forum

The history of CIMA certification in Australia (3.00 min)
In this short video, Ron Bird - Professor at the University of Technology Sydney and the course director of a key education component of the CIMA certification program since inception in Australia in 2001 - explains the genesis of the CIMA program in Australia.

And in this next short video, Prof Bird explains why and how he drove the introduction into Australia of the Investment Management Consultants Association®.

Who should undertake CIMA certification?

CIMA certification fits uniquely in the clear and uncluttered space between the CFA program – which is perhaps best suited to those who primarily design portfolios of individual securities – and the CFP program – which is perhaps best suited to those who give broad-based financial planning advice.

In other words, CIMA certification is specialised in the space between CFA and CFP, and is ideally suited to investment management analysts - both practitioners and advocates - involved in any aspect of constructing multi-manager portfolios.

For Practitioners

  • investment advisers, researchers/analysts and portfolio managers from private wealth management companies;

  • analysts and asset consultants from fund research and fund investment consulting firms;

  • researchers/analysts and portfolio managers from multi-manager funds management, superannuation, and investment platform companies

For Advocates

  • investment professionals (researchers/analysts and portfolio managers) not primarily involved in constructing multi-manager portfolios; and,

  • business/non-investment professionals from any firm.

ISO accreditation
Since April 2011, CIMA certification is the only financial services credential to have met the stringent ISO international standards (ANSI/ ISO 17024) for personnel certification. This protects the integrity of CIMA certification. To achieve ISO accreditation, the Institute must ensure and demonstrate that the CIMA certification program:

  • is open and transparent;

  • is fair, objective, and impartial;

  • has appeals procedures for complaints;

  • is supported by an organisation with sound management systems;

  • that the decision-making body for the certification program is autonomous and without undue influence by special interests; and,

  • certification is based on a process that consistently distinguishes those who meet a level of competency and skills as an investment management professional from those who do not.

The CIMA curriculum covers six core knowledge areas...

1. Governance
    IMCA Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards of Practice; Regulatory Considerations

2. Fundamentals of Financial Analysis
    Statistics & Methods; Applied Finance & Economics; Global Capital Markets History & Valuation

3. Portfolio Performance and Risk Measurement;
    Attributes of Risk & Risk Measurements; Performance Measurement and Attribution

4. Traditional and Alternative Investments;
    Traditional Investments (Equity & Fixed Income); Fixed Income Vehicles; ForEx Markets; Alternative Investments; Options, Futures and Other Derivative

5. Portfolio Theory and Behavioural Finance
    Portfolio Theories & Models; Behavioural Finance Theory

6. The Portfolio Construction Process
    Client Discovery; Investment Policy Statement; Portfolio Risk Management Strategies; Manager Search, Selection & Monitoring; Portfolio Review

More about the CIMA curriculum

All CIMA candidates globally complete the same process including three key steps...

1. an initial, self-directed study program followed by a two-hour, online Qualification Exam

2. A local, specialist executive education program
For CIMA candidates in Australia or New Zealand, this is the blended online and residential classroom Investment Management Analyst Course (IMAC) in Sydney, culminating in a 4-hour classroom exam. It is delivered by the Investment Management Research Program presented by Portfolio Construction Forum and featuring University of Technology Sydney academic faculty.

3. A final self-directed study course, culminating in a four-hour, online Certification Exam

How to become a CIMA certificant